Two-time Oscar nominee John Hurt makes his U.S. theatre debut in Brian Friel's newest one-act, Afterplay, at Charleston, South Carolina's annual arts event, the Spoleto Festival. The two-week long extraveganza began May 24 and continues through June 9.
Hurt was nominated for Academy Awards for "Midnight Express" and "The Elephant Man." He made his West End debut in 1962 and has since graced the English and Irish stages in productions of A Month in the Country, The Seagull, Romeo and Juliet, Travesties, Man and Superman and The Caretaker. In summer, 2001, a production of Krapp's Last Tape starring Hurt was rumored to be heading to Off-Broadway, but the transfer from London never materialized.
Afterplay by Tony winner Friel (Dancing at Lughnasa, Philadelphia, Here I Come!) imagines the middle-aged states of Chekhov's Sonya Serebriakova and Andrey Prozorov twenty years after their early lives in Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya. Chekhov's The Bear, newly adapted by Friel, is paired with Afterplay. The joint productions, directed by Robin Lefevre, began at Dublin's Gate Theatre in March, 2002.
Penelope Wilton co-stars with Hurt in Afterplay. The Bear features Stephen Brennan, Eamon Morrissey and Flora Montgomery.